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Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev

Eight months after his arrest, retired pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev arrived in court on January 22nd for the first hearing in his criminal trial. He faces charges of harming health, inciting hatred, propagating extremism and leading an organization that harms others. The charges carry a maximum penalty of about six to ten years' imprisonment each. He denies all wrongdoing. (For more details on his arrest, click here.)

The 67-year-old pastor has gone deaf in one ear and has suffered heart problems during the long months he has spent in prison and a psychiatric hospital. His trial will resume after January 31st.

Elsewhere in the country, two Christians were imprisoned for 48 hours, beginning on January 9th, for refusing to pay fines that were given as punishment for exercising their freedom of religion "without state permission." Numerous fines continue to be levied for this "offence."

Pray the Lord's favour will be upon Pastor Bakhytzhan and his legal team, and that the truth of his case will be brought to light. May he soon be acquitted of all charges and released. Pray, too, that God will completely heal and restore him. As others face fines or even imprisonment for exercising their religious freedom, ask God to use them and their suffering to strengthen fellow believers and encourage the growth of His church in Kazakhstan.

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Country Information

19,245,793 (July 2021 est.)

Ethnicity (%)
Kazakh (Qazaq) (68), Russian (19.3), Uzbek (3.2), Ukrainian (1.5), Uighur (1.5), Tatar (1.1), German (1), Other (4.4)

Religion (%)
Muslim (70.2), Christian (26.2), Buddhist (0.1), Other (0.2), Atheist (2.8), Unspecified (0.5)

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (2019)

Government type
Presidential republic

Legal system the theory and practice of the Russian Federation
Civil law system influenced by Roman-Germanic law and b

Source: CIA World Factbook

Pray for Kazakhstan

Pray that authorities will cease their harassment of unregistered church communities. Until then, pray believers will effectively minister the gospel despite opposition.

Pray for endurance for those believers facing these challenges.

Pray for the adage “To be a Kazakh is to be a Muslim” to be broken; pray for freedom from historic spiritual bondages and prejudices.


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Kazakhstan News

  • Parliament Debates New Religious Restrictions
    Kazakhstan Senate - Photo: Wikipedia / SenateKZ
    Kazakhstan Senate
    Photo: Wikipedia / SenateKZ (cc)

    On October 6th, amendments to Kazakhstan's religious laws were approved by the Parliament and then passed on to the Senate. The legislation added new restrictions to religious events conducted outside a building of worship owned by a registered re

  • Religious Worshippers Monitored and Fined
    Oral, Kazakhstan - Photo: Wikipedia / Bereshev
    Oral, Kazakhstan
    Photo: Wikipedia / Bereshev (cc)

    Since the beginning of 2021, at least 20 cases have gone to court in Kazakhstan for holding religious meetings without state permission. The fines brought against them varied from three weeks' to four months' average wages. Amendments are also pres

  • Appeal Fails to Halt Seizures
    New Life Curch - Photo: Ivan Kryukov
    New Life Church property in Almaty
    Photo: Ivan Kryukov (cc)

    On September 17th, a court in the city of Almaty upheld an earlier decision to seize two buildings owned by the New Life Protestant Church. The facilities were being used for worship, as well as a means of support for those suffering from

  • Church Buildings Confiscated
    Grace Church member praying - Photo: Grace Church via Forum 18 www.forum18.org
    Church member prays outside Grace Church.
    Photo: Grace Church via Forum 18

    City officials in Kazakhstan's capital of Nur-Sultan have ordered the confiscation of the Grace Presbyterian Church building, as well as the place of worship being constructed on the same site for the Agape Pentecostal Church


Kazakhstan Videos